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Prairie project wants seed collectors

The Devils Lake Wetland Management office is looking for volunteers to assist in collecting native prairie seeds throughout the summer.

Volunteers would be collecting seeds from a 160-acre prairie unit near Fort Totten, N.D., filled with wildflowers and other regional plants. Biological Science Technician, Kimberly Emerson said the overall goal of this project is to do a restoration on a 200-acre field next to the one the seeds are being collected from.

“North Dakota used to be mainly prairie so we’re trying to return some of it. Lots of birds and insects like bees and monarchs, which are in decline, rely on prairies,” Emerson said.

According to the Wetland Management Office, they would like to keep the collected seeds local because they are already adapted to the climate and soil. However, 160 acres is a large area to collect seed by hand, “so we will need more than just me collecting. I would very much appreciate the help,” Emerson said.

The Devils Lake Wetland Management office would welcome help from individuals, groups, organizations and anyone else who is interested. Volunteers do not need experience identifying plants, and they will be helped through the process and taught anything they need to know.

“We are starting now and it will run through most of the summer. The plants seed at different times. If someone is available now that’s great. If they’re available August, we will take them,” Emerson said. “We will make it as educational and fun as possible.”